September 22, 2011
By Nicholas Ziegler, News Editor
In a deal announced yesterday, the Minnesota offices of NorthMarq Real Estate Services and Cushman & Wakefield will merge their operations in the state, with the new venture to be called, appropriately, Cushman & Wakefield/NorthMarq Real Estate Services. The organization will create a regional office of more than 500 employees and NorthMarq will retain a controlling interest in the company.
“The key thing is that NorthMarq gains access to Cushman & Wakefield’s global platform,” Clint Miller told Commercial Property Executive. Miller, who currently works as executive managing director for Cushman, will be joining the new, combined team as senior vice president. “We summarize it simply. We put solutions in front of real estate investors and real estate occupiers and, if you look at the combined part of this enterprise, there’s no business we’re not in.”
That global platform will allow NorthMarq to scale its Minnesota office outside of its regional scope, but the Midwest focus will still remain. One major focus, Miller said, will the Fortune 500 companies in the state. “Minnesota typically has unemployment 2 percent below the national average,” he said. “We tend not to have a booming economy. Since we’re in the Midwest, we don’t have the boom-and-bust cycles seen on the coasts, and we’re planning to work with the many Fortune 500 companies here in Minnesota.”
Jeff Eaton, president of NorthMarq, concurs. “We’ll continue to be focused on the region around the Twin Cities, which has been the strength of our base,” he told CPE. “In the arrangement, we’ll focus on Minnesota-based companies, and if [those companies] need services outside the region, we’ll partner with Cushman to move outside the area.”
“The creation of this joint venture supports the long-term strategic plan we launched in 2008,” he said. “We’ve looked at a number of ways to grow our business, and determined that partnering with a global platform of Cushman & Wakefield’s stature was the ideal strategic fit.”
NorthMarq Real Estate Services is part of Marquette Real Estate Group, which is owned by the Pohlad family of companies. The deal will affect only NorthMarq Real Estate, and NorthMarq Capital will remain an independently operating company under the umbrella of the Marquette Real Estate Group. Cushman & Wakefield, which was founded in New York in 1917 and operates more than 230 offices worldwide, has had a presence in Minnesota since 2002 under Miller’s leadership.